Beiersdorf joins Global Shea Alliance and supports 10,000 shea collectors in West Africa over five years

  • In September 2019 Beiersdorf has become a member of the Global Shea Alliance
  • The company will support 10,000 shea collectors over five years in Ghana and Burkina Faso
  • Limited Edition “NIVEA VON HERZEN – 100% PURE SHEA BUTTER” will be available from December onwards in the NIVEA Online Shop and in the NIVEA Haus stores in Hamburg and Berlin, a result of the program “Freedom to Innovate 

Hamburg, December 10, 2019 – The skin care company Beiersdorf has become a member of the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) in September 2019. Founded in 2011, GSA comprises 500 members from 35 countries, including women’s associations, suppliers, brands, retailers and NGOs. Through public-private partnerships, the GSA promotes sustainability in the industry, defines quality practices and standards, and improves the living conditions of shea collectors and local communities. Shea butter is a sustainable and increasingly important natural raw material for many Beiersdorf products, such as body and lip care products.

In cooperation with the GSA and shea supplier AAK, a Swedish-Danish company, Beiersdorf will support 10,000 shea collectors in Ghana and Burkina Faso from December 2019 onwards, as part of the AAK sustainability program Kolo Nafaso. The aim of the five-year development is to support the women collectors in the areas of health and safety, productivity optimization, and commercial expertise. “With this approach, we are promoting the development of rural communities by educating the women collectors on how to further develop their business and hence help them to earn a steady income and raise their standard of living,” says Julia Beier, Responsible Sourcing Manager at Beiersdorf.

Women play a central role in the shea value chain. Traditionally, it is their responsibility to collect the shea fruits and process them into shea butter. As an important source of food and income for the women’s families, shea contributes to their improved livelihood and enables their children to attend school. Lisette Townsend, Business Development Director at AAK comments on this cooperation: “We are delighted to welcome Beiersdorf as a sustainability partner supporting initiatives with the women shea collectors engaged in our AAK Kolo Nafaso direct sourcing program. Investment in commercial, environmental and quality training projects enables and promotes knowledge sharing among the women’s groups, and this in turn has long-term socio-economic benefits for the whole community. It’s a win-win outcome.”

Shea butter is known as a hydrating skin all-rounder. It is called Africa’s “women’s gold” as it has become indispensable in the body care and cosmetics industry due to its protective and nourishing properties. It grows in 21 African countries, with a majority of exports supplied from the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Only there, in the so-called “Shea Belt”, does the shea fruit or Karité tree grow. It can live for over 300 years and bears its first shea fruits, after an initial growth period of 15 to 20 years. 

From December 2019, Beiersdorf will have a new product on the German market – made from pure shea butter. It is based on the principles of direct and ethical trade and ensures traceability back to the women’s groups in West Africa. The idea for the NIVEA Limited Edition “NIVEA VON HERZEN – 100% PURE SHEA BUTTER” came from four Beiersdorf employees who are personally involved in Burkina Faso with their own social projects on the ground. With the “Freedom to Innovate” program it took them only nine months from the idea to its implementation. Julia Beier, Responsible Sourcing Manager and one of the initiators, explains: “We wanted to enrich our NIVEA assortment with a product that only contains one raw material – pure shea butter – which is sustainably and ethically sourced, and at the same time create awareness about the women empowerment topic of shea sourcing.” The NIVEA Limited Edition contains 100% sustainably sourced shea butter from West Africa. The entire value chain is transparent and traceable back to the women groups who collect the shea fruits. The product will be available in four different designs from December onwards in the NIVEA Online Shop and in the NIVEA Haus stores in Hamburg and Berlin for a limited time. The selling price is 8.90 Euro for a 15ml tin. For every product sold, Beiersdorf will donate one Euro to the two social projects in Burkina Faso that are privately supported by the initiators of the “NIVEA VON HERZEN” idea. 

More information on Beiersdorf’s commitment to sustainability is available in its 2018 Sustainability Review, which is available at

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Inken Hollmann-Peters
Vice President Corporate Communications & Sustainability

Beiersdorf AG
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Phone: +49 (0) 40 - 4909 2001

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